Author: Dawn Ius
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre/Themes: YA, Contemporary, Thriller
Release Date: September 13th 2016
Page Count: 320
The first thing about Overdrive that caught my eye, wasn’t the cover surprisingly. It was the fact that it has been compared to films like Gone in 60 Seconds and The Fast & The Furious franchise. The Fast & The Furious films are actually one of my favourite things, like ever, so the fact that Overdrive has been compared to them instantly intrigued me.
I had never read anything by Dawn Ius previously so I didn’t really quite know what to expect in terms of writing style. I’m not going to lie, when I started reading the first paragraph, I started to get a little worried. The writing already started to feel like something I wasn’t particularly going to enjoy. It felt a little cheesy and stereotypical in terms of YA contemporary. However, I decided to push on through and continue reading.
I’m glad to say that I’m happy that I decided to continue reading Overdrive. While it wasn’t the best book I have ever read, it definitely turned out to be a fun, fast-paced and action packed novel! I had just recently finished reading some books that were heavy and darker in nature, and Overdrive turned out to be the perfect light and energetic contemporary that I didn’t know I needed.
Overdrive tells the story of Jules, a teenage girl who is currently bouncing from one foster home to the next with her younger sister Emma. Jules also happens to have a little secret, she’s an expert at hot-wiring and stealing cars. She gets herself into quite a large amount of trouble after an attempt at stealing a car goes wrong and she is afraid that she will be arrested and separated from her sister for good. However, a man by the name of Roger Montgomery offers to foster Jules and her sister, with one very important and dangerous condition. Jules, along with a few other teens that Roger has “fostered”, must work together to steal seven of the world’s most expensive and rare cars within a seven week time frame.
I noticed that this book was marked as a thriller on Goodreads and while I suppose I can understand why, I don’t think I would have classified it as such. I thought this felt like more of a fast-paced action novel, with hints of the typical contemporary romance. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the writing style, there’s no denying that Overdrive was extremely entertaining. I couldn’t put it down, mostly because I just needed to know what was going to happen next! I needed to know if Jules and the gang were going to get caught or drive away into the sunset. This novel was definitely a guilty pleasure.
I’m not entirely sure how I felt about Jules as a character. There were moments that I loved her and then there were moments that I just found her slightly annoying. The same goes for Nick. I can’t say I liked him very much at the beginning of the novel, but he definitely grew on me as the story continued. I found that the change in his personality and the switch in his feelings towards Jules happened too quickly and out of nowhere. As for Roger’s other two “foster” children, Chelsea and Matt, I don’t think I got to know them well enough. I actually really did enjoy the scenes that featured them and I wish that we got to learn a little bit more about them. I felt like their storylines were a tad rushed and not nearly detailed enough. I want to learn more about Chelsea and her relationship with her real father. I wanted to see more of Matt trying to locate his birth family, but unfortunately these two characters and their storylines were pushed to the sidelines.
One thing that I did like about these four characters is the way that they worked together on their mission to locate and steal these cars. They each had their individual strengths that helped them to form the perfect team. Nick and Jules worked as the thieves and getaway drivers while Chelsea worked as a lock picker and Matt acted as the expert hacker. Bringing the four of them together with their individual roles really helped in creating characters that were unique from one another.
While Overdrive wasn’t my favourite book ever, it was definitely an entertaining one. If you want to read something fast paced and exciting. This is the book for you!